Why losing net neutrality discourages improved service
March 10th, 2007

The University of Florida News is carrying a story about the results of some research to be announced next week to the effect that ‘abandoning net neutrality discourages improvements in service’:

Not surprisingly, they found that broadband service providers were the ones to gain the most from ending net neutrality because they could collect fees from content providers. The content providers such as Yahoo! and Google, in turn, would be the biggest losers.

Consumers will ‘win’ if their favorite online provider is the one paying a fee to the telephone or cable company because it comes with a guarantee that its site would have the opportunity to load faster than its competitors, Cheng said. But those consumers who prefer a content provider that paid no such fee will ‘lose’ in having to endure slower service, he said.

More important, the researchers found that the incentive for broadband service providers to expand and upgrade their service actually declines if net neutrality ends. Improving the infrastructure reduces the need for online content providers to pay for preferential treatment, Bandyopadhyay said.

‘The whole purpose of charging for preferential treatment to content providers is that one content provider gains some edge over the other,’ he said. ‘But when the capacity is expanded, this advantage becomes negligible.’

Via ZDNet Education

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